Editor's note: the following
is taken from three reports from Ken Abrahams about the
building and launch of his PDRacer: Ugly Duckling. For
more info about PDRacers, go to http://www.pdracer.com
#1 - Well, here it is today.
Essentally built, finishing remains. Finishing will be after
I try it in the water. I used the last squirt of epoxy today,
more is on the way. I used a strip of 4'' x 1/4'' plywood on
the inside bottom. Helped a lot. I'll know if I need more after
I try it out. Maybe this weekend. I also put a small skeg on
the rear with a hole in it. It will help keep it straight when
rowing and provide a tie point when trailering.
Ken Abrahams, PD Racer no. 2, 'Ugly Duckling'
#2 - Puddle Duck Racer no. 2
(Ugly Duckling) was launched today for the first time. It is
a success! This group of pictures show the Optimist International
Pram sail. It is around 38 sq. ft. (about 1/2 of a Sunfish sail
of 75 sq. ft.) The winds today were light, 5 to 8 maybe, and
it moved along fine. It tacks and goes into the wind ok. The
boat is very stable, I can sit on the rail ok, didn't need to
today. (I weigh 185 lbs) The bottom flex is ok but I think I
will add two rub strips on the outside botom for protection
when dragging the boat on and off the trailer and for a little
more stiffness. I used a Sunfish plastic board. One problem
I have is the rudder, works fine but it is not kick up. I'll
correct that problem though. My wife assisted me today and took
pictures. She suggests another name 'Love Barge', your remember
'Love Boat'? I think I'll stay with Ugly Duckling. One of the
club members came by and thought it was tiny and 'cute'.
The masts are 2-1/4 inch od. The standard Sunfish size. My Opti
mast just happens to be the same dimension (octagional). The
mast partner is a 1 x 6 treated pine board 12'' back from the
bow. The step is a 2 x 4 drilled out, also treated wood. The
board position is about the same position behind the mast as
the Sunfish and the Uncle John 10. By all means use a dagger
board. The trunk is simple to install with epoxy putty. I used
lee boards on my Bolger Pirate Racer and hated them. They were
not rigidly attached and one was required on each side. Vertical,
rigidly attached, board on one side is fine. I like everything
in the middle though.
I have sailed a Sunfish for many years and the
Lateen rig works well. Easy to use and simple. No need to change
sides of the mast. What you loose is very small. Junk rig; I
never sailed one but I built one for a guy. Do you realize you
need a sheet to every batten? Too much trouble for me. The little
sprit rig of the Opti seems to work well. Several hundred thousands
out there in use (Optimist is the worlds largest class). I have
a boomless sprit on my Uncle John 10 and it works fine but for
racing I'll go with a boomed sail.
Here is the last set. The Sunfish rig looks oversized
but worked ok in todays light wind. The boat felt stable enough
to carry the sail in a lot more breeze. I may come up with a
sail in between the SF and Opti say 60 sq. ft. I'll do a lot
more sailing first though.
The pictures were taken at Lake Charles Yacht Club, which I
am a member of since the mid 70's. A great place for small boat
sailing. The background shows part of the deepwater Port of
Lake Charles and the Isle of Capri River Boats and Hotels. Kind
of attractive from this view. We are about 30 miles from the
Gulf of Mexico and the Texas state line.
Any questions, just ask. I'm ready for the February kick off
race. Arrrgggggg! Also races for Contraband Regata in May and
August Messabout race. Any suggestions for finishing the boat??????